A while back, we wrote about how Apple is transitioning from Windows based EasyPad checkout systems to iPod Touch based mobile checkout systems. While it’s still unclear as to what manufacturer has helped Apple create the product you see below, we do know this is what Apple will be using for their new point of sale solution.
As you can see, the device contains hardware to slide credit and debit cards in the back while still allowing the user to have access to the normal buttons and connecters (via a dongle). It also manages to have a barcode reader in the top of it to allow for easy scanning of products. Furthermore, the device has its own battery with a strength indicator on the back to tell employees when they should recharge. A pen that allows customers to sign their names to their purchases is also included with the unit.
Don’t worry, though; the unit will still be able to go through cash transactions via cash registers throughout the store that can be opened from the application. According to AppleInsider, this will be rolling out to select stores over the next six months.
These systems are great in that they allow Apple to get rid of the regular cash register stations and open up more room for both employees and customers to move about the store. Also, it means that nearly every employee will be able to conduct sales and transactions with customers, so they can hopefully have a more pleasant experience without lines. On top of that, it is also a first-hand experience as to how useful iPod Touches can be to potential customers. That said, there are also some downsides to becoming entirely dependent on systems like this. Since they use WiFi to communicate with the purchase servers, a loss in signal means no transactions can be processed.
It will be fun to watch these in action when (and if) they make it to my local Apple Store.